Public relations takes many forms in different organisations and comes under diverse and differing titles, including public information, investor relations, public affairs, corporate communication, marketing and customer relations. Whatever the title, as a PR professional you can either work in-house or in a PR consultancy.
Working exclusively for the firm you are employed by, managing the reputation of the firm and running campaigns for the firms services or products (and potential services or products). You will gain an in-depth knowledge of the firm and the market within which it operates.
In a consultancy
PR consultancies range from international to niche companies, they will work for a range of clients and most likely you would be working with more than one at any time. Over half of the UK’s top 30 PR consultancies are now owned by global marketing groups such as WPP, Publicis, Havas, Interpublic and Omnicom.
You will gain a broad insight to different organisations working in a consultancy but it is also common to specialise in a particular industry after time such as healthcare, sport, retail, finance or public sector.
The main areas that PR professionals work in are:
- Consumer/lifestyle public relations – gaining publicity for a particular product or service
- Business-to-Business (B2B)
- Financial public relations – communicating financial results and business strategy
- Crisis communication – responding in a crisis
- Internal communications – communicating within an organisation
- Government relations/public affairs – engaging government departments to influence public policy
- Education (eg universities)
- Charities/not-for-profit organisations
- Food-centric relations – communicating specific information centred on foods, beverages and wines
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
- SEO (search engine optimisation) PR